A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
Centralia Municipal Court INformation
Court: Centralia Municipal Court
Address: “118 W Maple Street, Centralia, WA 98531”
What is the purpose of the Centralia Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Centralia Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Centralia, Washington
Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well
how are cases managed in the municipal court in Centralia?
Judges preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Centralia, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Centralia Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.
The penalties for different offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Centralia Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Centralia Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Centralia, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Centralia, Washington?
Depending on the scope of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Centralia Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.